Getting back to nature to feel good

Hello and thank you for joining me here on Stories for a little chat about wellbeing and how nature is absolutely key for feeling great. Well, for me it is anyway! I’ve lived pretty much my whole life in the countryside and living in a town/city is my worst nightmare because I just cannot live without proper, fresh air and countryside. It’s each to their own and living in a town might be fab for popping to the shops, socialising and actually a whole host of great things but I need green and fields and space to keep myself happy. My husband is even more that way inclined, having grown up on a farm with no neighbours, he’d go further into the middle of nowhere than I would. So we are pretty happy living where we do because we can go walking right from our door and see so much nature and enjoy the peace of it all.

Walking is actually something I’ve learnt I shouldn’t go too long without doing. When we first got our dog, Monty, over three years ago, I came to the realisation that just getting outside every single day for a walk was so good for my mental health and, of course, my physical health. I’m not much of a fan of hardcore exercise, but going on a good walk every day is great because it’s enjoyable and not too intense! Unless you walk up a big hill that is! I used to walk Monty about four miles a day and I’ve never felt better than then. Of course, once I got pregnant and felt mostly too sick and tired to go out, my husband took over a bit and then after the arrival of baby Beatrice, he has become the main dog walker. But now we have more of a routine with Beatrice, I am going to try to do half the walks, because I really miss it and when I do go, my head feels so much clearer on the way back. I also really miss one-on-one time with my best boy!

This time of year, because of the sunshine and heat, we have to be up early to walk Monty because, as you can see, he is black and pretty hairy so he overheats later in the day. And, let’s be honest, so would I! But again, that’s kind of nice… being up and out with nothing but the birdsong to accompany you and your mad dog. I really do recommend, dog or not, that every now and again you get up early and go on a morning stroll. I will say that Monty could be better at posing with people as you can see here. My Dad’s dog Ruger is waiting for his turn though.

The summer months also mean I can do away with the hardcore waterproof boots and sling some Skechers on. I’ve had mine a good few years now and they are so great for getting out walking because they are so comfortable, lightweight and breathable, but all the while looking great. They have a whole GoWalk range but I’ve actually got my eyes on these ones right now.

I also love a spot of gardening. Lots of my friends laugh at me because I enjoy things that people traditionally come to when they are a bit older (see also, jam-making) but honestly I find such joy in planting things and seeing the end result. I’m very much flower-centric…none of this structural foliage stuff for me, but I do think I need to find some good things for winter interest as things start to look a little barren then! Any suggestions? My favourite flowers are roses, of which I have quite a few, and sweet peas. I bought the Keith Hammet sweet peas from Plants2Gardens earlier in the year and they are shooting up the poles now. I am SO excited to see them flower.

Here’s a couple of snaps of things looking great right now.

I’ve used Richard Jackson’s Flower Power and Root Booster to give everything a new lease of life and my husband was very pleased with the gift of Lawn Magic I gave him! Hopefully it’ll all be looking tip top by September when we plan to have a little garden party after Beatrice’s christening. But the main thing is, I just love a little wander round the garden looking at the flowers. Such a simple thing but it really makes me happy. Beatrice likes to come with me too and I let her have a feel of all the different textures of leaves and petals.

Another thing that I’ve finally realised is important to keep me feeling good is taking the time for a good skincare routine. Funnily enough, I’ve got better at looking after my skin since having a baby. You’d think I have less time, but I’ve discovered that it’s actually more important than ever to take five or ten minutes just for me every single day. It’s some of the only proper alone time I have and also I don’t feel I have to rush because the baby and the husband are both in bed already! Ha!

So, seeing as we’re talking about nature, it makes sense to share with you something new I’m trying in my routine from Liz Earle. They have come up with a retinol alternative that is extracted from plants as is their usual “naturally active” ethos.

Now, I can’t usually use anything with retinol in it on my face, as my skin is too sensitive, but the clever guys and gals at Liz Earle have come up with something that mimics retinol but that can even be used on sensitive skin. The two new products that I am just beginning to give a go are the Alt-Retinol Skin Paste and the Alt-Retinol Booster Drops. I personally am hoping that they will help refine my pores a little, as I’ve noticed how much more obvious they have become lately, particularly on my cheeks, but I wouldn’t say no to a little extra radiance too! I’ll be honest and say it’s still too early (as the products are so very new) to give you results photos etc., but what I will say is that I’ve had no reaction at all to the products and they have left my skin feeling great! I particularly love the Booster Drops, which I just use after I’ve cleansed and toned in the morning. Everything is feeling lovely and smooth.

Lastly, I think we all know that nothing it better than a good night’s sleep for helping you to feel your best and this is something I’m not great at and, surprisingly, it’s nothing to do with having a baby! I’ve always been a rubbish sleeper and I need complete silence and darkness just to hope of drifting off. I love a pillow spray for helping me calm down at bedtime but I like to alternate them. My two favourites are from This Works and Neom.

This Works have a choice between their Deep Sleep or Deep Sleep Plus pillow sprays. The former is to help you drift off in the first place, but the latter is motion-activated, so if you are restless and wake up a lot it’s perfect. I recommend these to a lot to people who can’t sleep, whether that be usual for them or because they are stressed. It really, really helps me get a better nights sleep. Neom’s Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist is the one I’m currently using and I actually used this one while my daughter was tiny and still sleeping in the room with us, as it was perfectly safe for her too. My top tip is going into your room and spraying a little on the sheets or into the air before you go and brush your teeth etc., so that when you walk back in you get that lovely relaxing fragrance getting you in the mood for sleep straight away.

Please do get in touch with me and let me know what works for you to help you relax and feel just that little bit better in everyday life. Sometimes I think the little things matter more day-to-day than big changes.

You can find me on Instagram @kathryn _goldsmith or Twitter @kathryngoldsmith, I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, I’m going to put my iPad down and give Monty dog a big fuss and a cuddle while the baby is napping because he doesn’t get enough of all that these day. Here’s an outtake of me trying to get a photo with him!

Take care and I hope you manage to enjoy a bit of nature yourself this week.

Kathryn x

Make sure to check out our Feeling Good Together campaign, where we’re regularly updating the page with fitness inspiration, wellbeing top tips and expert interviews to help support and inspire you throughout 2021.

6 Responses

  1. Hi Kathryn
    Although I don’t live in the countryside, I can really relate to feeling that nature has an amazing ability to improve our wellbeing. The flowers in your garden certainly look stunning and although you mentioned that you’re not quite so keen on planting, your efforts have definitely paid off. How lovely that Beatrice enjoys walking around your garden with you – it sounds as if she shares her parents love of being outdoors too 🙂
    Monty and Ruger both look such handsome boys – it’s a great comedy picture of you and Monty (he looks like he’s running off, as if he’s heard it’s time for dinner 🙂).
    Wishing you all the best
    Jules x

    1. Thanks for your comment Jules. The planting I don’t mind so much…its the weeds that get me down!! Thank you for the compliments though. A couple of my favourite roses have just come into bloom since writing this blog and I am thoroughly enjoying them.
      And Monty was running off as he’d seen Ruger pick up a toy! NEARLY as good as dinner haha!
      All the best for you too and I hope you can get out and enjoy some nature!
      Kathryn x

  2. Hi Kathryn.
    This is how i spell my name too, not a very common way so ive been told. ( Some say it’s the French way )
    I too love going out for walks in the country, we are not far from the New Forest and also beaches near to Poole.
    We also have dogs, 2 Border Collies both rescues, who also love their long walks, they love to roll around in the sand on the beach but not to go in the sea. ! We are lucky to have both forest and beach so close by.
    Your garden is looking lovely, nice time of the year now with all the buds breaking and the air filled with scent from Honeysuckle and Roses, i have Peonies close to the house which smell divine.
    I haven’t tried a sleep mist at all, i drop off ok but i wake early, we have black out curtains but still wake about 4- 30 / 5 am. Not good so maybe will try the Neom one. we have a Neom shop not far from us so will pop in and have a browse. The scent when i pass is unbelievably gorgeous, mainly from the candles.
    My ideal for relaxing is a reading good book in the garden or preferably on the beach with the waves crashing in the distance somewhere warm and sunny !
    We can hope for later this year. 🙂
    Bye for now.

    1. Well how lovely to hear feom another Kathryn! In terms of spelling, I say its the CORRECT way! Ha!
      Oh wow it sounds like you’ve really got the best of both worlds where you live in terms of walking and enjoying the outdoors. How fabulous that you have two collies too…my husband grew up with collie dogs so we have a soft spot for them.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment…lovely to hear from you!
      Kathryn x

  3. Hi Kathryn,
    Your flowers look absolutely gorgeous so you’re doing something right! Just ignore your friends if they laugh at you! Their loss! Enjoy your peace x

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thank you very much…lots of my favourite roses have just started to bloom…a shame it wasn’t in time for this blog.
      And its all lighthearted with ny friends…especially because they love my homemade jam!!!
      Have a great day,
      Kathryn x

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